Small Australian Town Bans Water Bottles

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In an attempt to rid their town of plastic bottle waste and cut carbon emissions, MSNBC reports that residents in the town of Bundanoon, about two hours south of Sydney, Australia, have voted to ban the sale of plastic water bottles.

Even small business owners agree with the decision. One man in Bundanoon nets about $1,600 a year from the sale of water bottles, yet still supports banning the water bottles.

Photo: Trailflix.com.au

Located about two hours south of Sydney, Bundanoon has a population of about 2,035. Photo: Trailflix.com.au


PET is the most common form of plastic found in water bottle packaging. The idea behind reduction of PET use goes as follows: Because PET is made from fossil fuels such as petroleum and natural gas, if more towns, cities or countries reduced their water bottle demand, fossil fuel energy consumption could be reduced.

The town has ideas to offer reusable water bottles to customers for about the same price as disposable ones, as well as charge a small amount for people to fill up their reusable water bottle with purified water at local businesses.

However, not everyone is happy about the decision, including the bottled water industry representatives who wanted to set up a bottling plant in Bundanoon. Fearing the loss of consumer choice and profits, industry representatives assert that research is always being conducted to see how plastic water bottle waste can be reduced.

One notable example is the Eco-Shape bottle offered by Arrowhead, which uses 30 percent less plastic and is easier to crush in recycling centers than the older bottle designs.


As for Bundanoon, the ban stands, making this small Australian town the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

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Comments

  1. Hopefully this town is educating its residents on stocking up some form of water in case of an emergency where drinking water is no longer available.

  2. I understand the environmental concerns voiced by towns like Bundanoon. My company, Nestlé Waters North America, is working hard to reduce the amount of plastic used in our operations, while providing today’s on-the-go society with a healthful, calorie-free beverage option. Here are a few ways we’re doing this:

    • In the last 15 years, we’ve reduced the plastic content of our bottles by 48%.

    • Our Arrowhead Eco-Shape bottles, as you point out, contain up to 30% less plastic than similar containers.

    • We recently launched re-source, a premium brand of bottled water that uses 25% recycled plastic in its bottle. The bottle serves as an education vehicle to inform consumers about the importance of recycling and the personal role they can play.

    • All of our bottles are 100% recyclable (even the caps) and can be made into many valuable items, including carpeting, playground equipment, and even new bottles.

    • We actively lobby for more comprehensive recycling programs to make it easier for people to recycle and, in 2008, established an aggressive goal of recovering and recycling 60% of all PET beverage bottles by 2018.

    Learn more about our environmental commitments here: http://www.nestle-watersna.com/Menu/Corporate-Citizenship/Goals-Developing-Sustainale-Packaging-Solutions.htm.

    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute,

    Jane Lazgin
    Director, Corporate Communications
    Nestlé Waters North America

  3. One thing that Jane from Nestle Waters did not mention with regards to their bottles and caps being 100% recyclable, is that the cap is actually made from a different type of plastic than the bottle itself – #5 as opposed to a #1, which quite often is not accepted in curbside/community recycling.
    However, as it was previously posted on this site (https://earth911.com/blog/2009/02/03/plastic-5-recycling-got-you-feeling-blue/), #5 plastics bottle caps, screw lids/snap lids, are being accepted at Whole Foods and Aveda stores to be sent back and repurposed into kitchen and bathroom items by Preserve.

    Oh yeah, one more thing…wouldn’t it be BEST if Nestle made a plastic bottle that was 100% POST CONSUMER RECYCLED?!

    Now that would be walking the walk…

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